Part 2: The other day in my previous post, Arrow Breaking and Fire Walking (part 1) I told you about my Arrow Breaking experience at the Be Thankful Circle of Trees Retreat. Following the Arrow Breaking, we participated in Fire Walking. Our instructor was Kat Naslas, she studied at Sundoor School of Transpersonal Education; I highly recommend her if you wish to experience Fire Walking. Both experiences are transforming and empowering and help to eliminate limiting beliefs and overcoming fears.
Photography or videotaping was not allowed during the actual event, but before and afterwards we all took lots of photos.
To begin the circle space and fire wood was prepared. Each person attending held a log, took a moment to focus our intent and as we placed the log on the center pile of wood and spoke a word or two of our intention out loud (what we wanted to manifest – for example, love, healing, courage, etc.). Next we each took a long rolled sheet of newspaper that was lit and added it to the wood pile to set the fire ablaze. The large bonfire burned while back in the building we participated in the arrow breaking and learned about fire walking, the power of our thoughts, and of course, safety (and signed release forms).
The chanting, clapping, and drumming contributed to creating a powerful, magical experience. As each woman walked the large rectangle of fire (a thin layer of burning coals), the joy and empowerment was palpable. After everyone had had several opportunities to walk across the coals the embers were raked into the shape of a heart.
The next morning there was a heart of ash. This is where I placed my arrow of intention (made from the arrow I broke the night before); before leaving the retreat I made sure to retrieve it and brought the arrow home where it is now placed in my backyard.
About Fire Walking: Fire walking is one of humanity’s earliest rituals and there is a history of it that can be found in many cultures and religious practices across the world. The tradition can be found in India, Africa and North America, and also China, Japan, Europe, Australia, South America and beyond. It is associated mostly with shamanic religions, but is also found in other diverse faiths such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Sufi, Islam and even Christianity (Saint Peter Igneus was celebrated for performing a relatively an act of firewalking). It’s most commonly used for one or more of the following purposes: initiation into manhood and/or the higher mysteries of life; proof of sanctification, unwavering faith or bravery; or used as an ordeal of truth/guilt (i.e., if you walk the coals without burning you are not guilty, if you are burned it is a sign of guilt).
Firewalking, when done with the proper training and supervised by someone who is trained in the technical aspects of containing the fire and safety precautions, is a relatively safe experience. But it is not totally without risk and should never be done with proper supervision (fire is powerful, clothing is flammable, there is a slight potential of slipping and falling). The technique: breath, face your obstacle, picture in your mind what you want to accomplish (being on the other side), and walk briskly and at an even pace (like you know where you are going) and you can cross the fire.
Firewalking began to become popular in western civilization during the late 1970s. Unfortunately there are a few self proclaimed “gurus” out there that promote firewalking as if they themselves invented it and every one else is inferior, and their goal is more to create a side-show for entertainment or leadership training for corporations. If you wish to experience fire walking, I suggest you seek out someone trained in Fire Walking that is focused on spiritual empowerment and respect of others. Fire Walking can be a very effective means of overcoming self imposed limitations, it is at it’s core calling forth your faith and courage to face the deeply ingrained fear of fire common to virtually all of the Earth’s creatures. It represents a triumph of intellect and spirit over the deeply ingrained animal instinct to fear flames. The emotional impact of firewalking is overwhelming and can be life changing. Whenever one has a healthy confrontation with fear, the adrenaline rush can be very empowering and transformative. For example, if the walker is conditioned in advance to associate the process in a religious context it is an effective initiation ritual. These types of intense experiences can be channeled to produce specific mental or spiritual results (for example, focusing one’s intent on manifesting a change in your life).
If you ever have the opportunity to fire walk, I say go for it! If you are curious about it, then I suggest you learn more about it and follow your heart and seek out the opportunity.
Namaste, Lady Rose